REVIEW: Bearings Bust Out Their Most Consistent, Summer-High, Fun Record Yet With ‘The Best Part About Being Human’
Canadian punk rockers Bearings have returned with their third full-length record with ‘The Best Part About Being Human’. This marks their first full release since 2020’s ‘Hello, It’s You’. This record also shows more of a return to form; going back to their roots but still willing to progress and incorporate elements from the last album as well. If you’re looking for a fun summer pop-punk album to listen to with the windows down on a sunny day, this record is the top one for me to recommend.
The album opens with the absolute banger and lead single, “Scenery”. This was a great song to lead off the record with and as a first single, because it’s everything I love about this but elevated. The chorus is absolutely massive and that will be a common theme on pretty much every song on this album. The drums here feel so seamless to listen to, I have to give a shoutout to that right away since it won’t be the last time on this record. The back and forth vocals between Doug Cousins and Ryan Culligan also feel so nicely placed and remind me of the best two vocalist deliveries from bands in the genre like Knuckle Puck or Hot Mulligan. The bass line in the bridge gives me Blink-182 vibes and you can tell they’re a big influence on Bearings. We jump to the next track, with “Don’t Wanna Forget About It”. This one immediately has vibes of 2018’s ‘Blue In the Dark’ and shows this band never forgot where they came from. This one has another great chorus and it’s even strengthened by the added parts to the second and final chorus…it’s simple, yet effective every time. Shoutout to Doug on this track just straight up killing it on vocals and his vocal delivery feels distinct and great for this kind of music. The record continues with the second single and a more bouncy track with “Gone So Gone”. This one is more on the simpler side with the formula, but nevertheless; it’s fun and feels nostalgic in a way. It also has vibes of some of the more fun songs on the last record, similar to a song like “Sway” and how Doug delivers a lot of these vocals.
We continue energy with “Go Long”. The drums here once again feel like they’re well thought out and this ain’t your dad’s pop-punk drummer…this is good shit with how intricate it feels. Once again, shoutout to how the lines are delivered in the chorus with the classic pop-punk aggression. And I appreciate how the bridge gives off this specific kind of energy, like sunshine in a way. I’d also like to give a shoutout to how great the production is on this record, really crisp and just how I like my record in this genre to be. We end the first side with a more poppier leaning track with “Ocean Dream”. It incorporates the poppier elements of this band into this song compared to the other tracks, and they made the absolute best version of this side of Bearings. The verses feel dance-y and the chorus is absolutely fucking huge, probably the best chorus on this entire album. And the saxophone, I dunno what it is with pop-punk bands having random sax in their songs…but it’s working and it works incredibly well here. I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a standout track for a lot of people after finishing this album. We enter the second half of this record with another one of my favorites off this album, with “Howie, You’re a Freak”. It’s the definition of a fun, summer pop-punk song with the cute lyrics about finding love and the fun guitar riffs to start the song off. Plus the chorus is huge once again, this band just knows how to craft choruses and for them to stick in your head for weeks on end. Doug also knows just how to deliver quick lyrics and it feels natural every time.
We continue on with the final single from this record, with “Slip”. This one also has vibes of the first record, and the piano bits in the background throughout are a nice touch. It once again feels nostalgic to something from the late 2000’s/early 2010’s and the music from back then in this genre. This and the next track have a real nice, head boppin’ chorus to just vibe with and it continues to be as catchy as ever. Right after, we reach the third single off this album with “Live Forever, Never Die”. I can definitely see this song going over well with fans and it possibly being a staple to their set. Also shoutout to the little part after the first chorus and before the last chorus that captures the vibe of summer in just a few seconds. I also really appreciate the lyric calling back to 2018’s “Blue In the Dark” with “I still hear your voice in the dark”. The record reaches its penultimate track with “I Want to Heal” and immediately starts off with a killer riff that catches you off guard. This track definitely feels more on the hard-rock/grunge kind of side, but also mixed in with the classic Bearings sound and they surprisingly mix pretty well. The tone of the song comes across well, as well with its lyrics about wanting to heal after a broken relationship. The little voice parts after the bridge and last chorus really drive that vibe home as well. The final track “Human” really pulls everything together, especially with the opening lyrics being “The best part about being human is being alive, and the second best part is watching every single heart disappear inside”. The guitar in bridge absolutely slays, it’s well appreciated on the last song. It captures the essential sound from this band one last time and feels very fitting as a closing track. It feels even more fitting when it goes acoustic at the end for one last chorus, just a nice touch and I’m a sucker for that kind of stuff.
So all in all, ‘The Best Part About Being Human’ feels like the most consistent Bearings record to date. It’s impressive how they’re able to incorporate all elements they’ve learned over the years to deliver a very solid and fun album for the summer. If you’re a fan of pop-punk in general (especially the fun side of it), then this is absolutely a record you should hear especially at the tail end of this summer.
Check out the video for “Slip” below.